According to a press release put out by Governor Mark Gordon, the governor has signed a proclamation declaring May 5th Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day.

Since 2017, May 5th has been recognized as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

The press release states that the governor’s proclamation highlights the need for ongoing grassroots advocacy and changes to laws and policies to address the issue.

Governor Gordon’s convened a task force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) in 2019 to determine the scope of the problem in Wyoming and to recommend ways to begin addressing it.

In January, the task force released the first MMIP Statewide Report.

The report finds that between 2010 and 2019, the homicide rate for indigenous persons was 26.8 per 100,000, eight times higher than for white people in Wyoming.

During that same time period, indigenous women were murdered at a rate of 15.3 per 100,000, a rate 6.4 times higher than white women.

The report also highlights how indigenous people are also less likely to receive press coverage, with 30% of indigenous homicide victims being reported, compared to 50% for white homicide victims.

That rate is even lower for indigenous women, where only 18% of homicides receive news media coverage.

The report recommends the state take a variety of actions, from developing better protocols for MMIPs to inform both law enforcement , to creating an Indigenous advocacy position or response team, to raising community awareness about the prevalence of MMIP.

The issue of MMIP is being addressed on a national level as well, as Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced recently the different policies her department has taken which more aggressively tackle the issue of MMIP.